All Women's Talk

How to Deal when Your Partner Takes Advantage of You ...

By Alison

Do you ever have the sneaking feeling that your partner takes advantage of you? Or maybe it's pretty obvious that they do. This doesn't make for a very equal relationship, and can cause you to feel resentful. The answer is in your hands, so here's what to do if your partner is taking advantage of you …

1 Learn to Say No

We are often taught that it's rude to say no to someone, but you have every right to refuse an unfair request or something that you don't want to do. So learn to feel comfortable with saying no. You don't have to accept everything, and if you feel that you're being taken advantage of, then saying no will be much better for you!

2 Anticipate Situations Where This May Happen

You may be able to work out a pattern. For example, does your partner always persuade you to do the driving because they want to drink, or want you to lend them money because they run out of cash before payday? Anticipate situations before they happen, and you can work out tactics for avoiding being taken advantage of.

3 Negotiate

Negotiation can help you to make the relationship more equal. Do you end up doing all the housework because your partner is busy? Ask them to pay for a cleaner, or cut down on their commitments so that they have time to do their share. If you pay all the bills because they spend all their money first, get them to set up a direct debit so that their share of bills is paid before spending money.

4 Make Demands of Your Own!

Sometimes people don't realise that they're taking advantage of you. So you can try doing the same to them, and seeing if that opens their eyes. When they complain that you're taking advantage, you can then point out that they're doing exactly the same thing, and how! Then they might wake up to their own behavior.

5 Be Tough - Someone Can Only Take Advantage of You if You Let Them

Take charge of the situation and be tough. People can only take advantage of you if you let them! So refuse to allow your partner to use you. He might not like the new, tough you, but you need to show him that you're not willing to put up with him taking advantage of you.

6 Explain Why It's Unfair

To be fair, people don't always realise that they're taking advantage of others. So if he's not aware of what he's doing, point it out to him and explain why it's unfair. Some people need to understand just why what they're doing is bothering you. If he's a decent guy, he'll look at his behavior and modify it.

7 Consider Why It Happens

It may also be helpful to consider why your partner takes advantage of you. Are you a people-pleaser who likes to keep everyone happy? Or was he indulged as a child and has carried that expectation into adult life? Understanding why he behaves this way can be the key to changing his behavior.

You don't have to put up with being taken advantage of. If you do, you're likely to end up silently resentful, while your partner is blissfully unaware. So makes some changes if you want the relationship to thrive. Are you a people-pleaser, or reluctant to say no to anyone?

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